'The place where inspiration hits the page running... A sketchbook to fail and reflect on my work and my process'

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


I'm meant to be doing a presentation today for a lecture I'm doing at the Maritime Museum for the Post Grad showcase next week but instead I've just had a mentor session with a RIO client and now painting myself!...I'm realistic about how I look so don't like painting myself for vain reasons but I guess it's a really good gauge of where you're at in life... I found a painting I did in 1999 when I was living in Bath and was having a great time. And one of the guy from Supergrass. I look so young in this image! and another I did last month, really scraggy and then another quick one today.. I'm losing interest in being precise but this I think captures something. All done really quickly too. I definitely look innocent in the first one and now I look older but also a bit scary! maybe determined? the Pedler frown possibly changes it slightly! anyway see what you think!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Looking back and realisations...

It's been a weird old month or two...and I won't be at all offended if you can only read the first line before falling asleep as this may only be interesting to one or none!.... I've come out the other end of the MA and gone through a host of emotions from complete excitement and over enthusiastic antics, to slighting depressed and hopeless feelings of doubt. I've been looking back over what I've achieved in 2 years and feel proud but unsure if I can actually make it in the real world with the practice I have nurtured. The real world almost feels too fast and harsh for the work I want to continue with (the bears in erased landscapes etc). I have been trying to put the small amount I have, out there on blogs and in competitions and exhibitions etc and although it is getting some response it's not earning me any pennies and I'm not sure I want it to be out there yet or earning for the sake of paying my rent or bills etc?? I don't want this work to become a work horse like my mainstream work. I want it to mean more to me, and to an audience. I want people to really love it enough to save up for it. Not buy it because it has 20% off or fits their budget or colour scheme. If I love something enough I will find a budget. Having done over a decade of working hard, for work that isn't mine, I feel it is time to really take care of the work I create, for my sake.

For the final few months of the course and leading up the the show I was so driven to get everything right and working hard to achieve the best results, that I didn't realise that once the show was down and we were free to live in the real world again, that I would still have a huge amount of energy, and nowhere to aim it. So I made places like blogs, listings, exhibitions, competitions etc etc. I couldn't stop! Trying to connect to people and places that didn't want to be connected to. So I've stopped and taken some time off, taken a step back and I'm beginning to realise who I am again without the MA, and that need to make a living or to be connected or be successful. I have to have faith that in time it will happen, and give it the space it deserves. I have crafted my practice over the last year into something that can span a lifetime so I have to relax and enjoy watching it grow. To admit to myself that the commercial work is a must and in time it will be less about the client and more about me, but only with patience.

I have learnt a lot about patience this year and although it is so frustrating to wait for things you desire and want so badly, sometimes the journey is the most important and enjoyable part of the process. Desire is a powerful and debilitating energy that I am realising overpowers the natural spin of the world.

I have also learnt a lot about myself and the way I learn and take in the world around me and how I react to it. Finding out I had Dyslexia after the first essay was huge. Not because I thought I now had a disability, but the fact that I had gone through 16 years of continual education thinking I was Miss Average at everything apart from drawing, especially as I loved writing and could spell. So it was with help from the Dyslexia team that I received information about the way that Dyslexia affects me, and different people and finally putting reasons to why I had failed this, or found this difficult, etc etc in the past, and why I thought I was never as good as everyone else in my group, class etc. Which is something that I still do today, constantly comparing myself to others, and harshly so.

 I have always been passionate about creating art but never thought of myself as an artist. I knew I had a higher level of artistic skill than some of my fellow pupils at school, and I guess this is why I'm an illustrator, but I could never place this in a context. The only context I knew was to sell it as pretty pictures to grace the walls of a lounge, a bedroom etc. I have never felt intelligent enough to be driven by theory or to be able to express the reason for the work I do, so it was always the easiest route to do work that looked nice but had no real meaning. On the MA I found my meaning and a certain level of theory that worked for me. I have learnt why I create, and that the work I do now is a reflection of who I am as a person more than ever. Enabling me to talk more honestly and directly about the development I have experienced in a more concise and hopefully poetic way.
The marks I received for the first projects on the course reflected the lack of knowledge I had about myself and the world I had stepped into. I had to learn a way of taking in information, holding it there, and then learning a way to relay that in written form in an academic, and previously alien, way to me. I feel like I have scraped my insides out and replaced them in a way that works for me, finally! So having received passes at first and slowly, as my knowledge and learning grew, I understood more and more about my own ways and only then, it began to make sense and I was making sense. 
My marks got better and better until my final essay and my final unit, gathering a 2:1 for the final essay, and a distinction for the final years work. I got the distinction I had so desired! I received a 2:1 overall which I am really proud of because of the ragged and misunderstood start I had. So finally I had a level of learning that equated the amount of work I had put in. It felt amazing and now I know that I can work around the ways that have confused and muddled me in the past. I can continue forward with insight and focus.

Without the Dyslexia test I'm not sure the picture would be the same? Even when I was diagnosed I thought I was still borderline and didn't quite understand the extent of how it had disabled me. Now I realise how much it has clouded my academic intelligence through school and college, and how much easier and enjoyable life will be knowing that I am intelligent enough to write essays that have a message or discourse, and with a little extra work I can achieve as much as the next illustrator.

Thursday, 20 October 2011


Well after another day off and I'm in the studio again!...just can't keep away.. I think it reiterates that creating is my first and foremost goal, passtime, passion etc.... and my computer still can't get online so I'm spinning between two macs! grrrr! anyway...here's a few bits, I'm doing a book idea I've had for a while, and I'm leaning towards a more fine art one, but still trying to add some cute so it sells.. I see them being two different books at the moment so one is publishable...  here's a few images that would be covers?, title pages...something to introduce it.. It's all looking a bit somber at the moment so I have to decide what kind of audience this is for? and whether I can make it upbeat? the Duck, Death and the Tulip, by the amazingly brilliant Wolf Erlbruch, is in my head at the moment!...

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


A new day a new diary entry...I haven't been able to get an internet connection via my work computer so have had to wait until I can do it elsewhere! so here you go... I'm taking some time off from work and the fact that I need to crack on and bring some new work in and therefore income. For some reason that was paralysing me so I've stopped and I'm beginning to slowly come back to life and feeling a bit inspired again, and doing the diary isn't a task anymore but a nice thing to do again. I have some other commissions to do so hoping these will be next. So anyway it is important to take a break because I never give myself chance to, so although it isn't abroad or outside the village my head is having a holiday and that's as good as it gets at the moment!  here they are... Bo was chased by two dogs today. One was thankfully muzzled as I'm not sure what damage he would have done without it! They should have been on leads! grrrrr....and some card ideas...everything copyright of Caroline Pedler 2011.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

ART TAKES MIAMI...please vote

Hi everyone, 

I know I post a lot, but I need your vote, for me, for my work...please? please can you pass it on too.
I'm participating in ART TAKES MIAMI....in Miami!
HERE'S THE LINK TO VOTE..and see the pics I've entered
hope you can help thank you...x

Monday, 10 October 2011


...and here's another really quick sketch..so I'm going for likability of quality of marks, rather than they are good likenesses or good portraits for example. I can draw photo-realistically, to a point, but this isn't what this is about, and although I don't particularly like these, or think they represent how well I can draw, they are more about being able to exercise my hands in capturing something. I have realised that my strength lies in the first marks I make so embracing this and working with this is what I am doing. Some subjects i choose don't work like this... Some bits of work you have to walk back from, ponder over and then rework into. In this instance, I'm looking for successes..... that happen one in 10!

 I'm hoping to do more of these really quickly so I master a way of not caring about them so much so they become more loose and spontaneous. At the moment they are too considered and safe so I need to loosen up lots...here's one that made it, the other one wasn't so good.

Saturday, 8 October 2011


More diary action. Bo and I did our morning run today, and try to run over and around the beacon at least a couple of times in the week, and the other days just weaving in and around the beacon. Today we went around and through the village. It was nice and empty apart from a couple of friendly 'Morning!'s.

Don't forget all these are done only from memory.

Friday, 7 October 2011


I have just added myself to the AOI portfolio website, and just happened to end up next to an old college friend Andy Potts. Here it is. I haven't got the most amazing body of work here, but its a start and hopefully a new portal to new work and new clients! Putting myself out there so to speak!


I've started my daily diary again. Hopefully I'll keep it going. It will give me ideas for my own book about Bobo and also give me a constant that I do every morning when I get to work and something to look forward to. So here's one from last night. We all went to the beach with four dogs and it was funny. They loved it...except Harvey!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Looking back over the last two years

I was just looking back through my blog, I guess to see what other people see maybe, and the difference from when I started is fairly big! I have more of my own work on it, which makes sense as I now have a style that sits outside the commercial work that I do, which I never had before. So I've been updating my current work on my website too.

Feeling lost and incapable

I've had a month of working to deadlines on my paid publishing work, and all that time I've been aching to do my own work. But of course when you think of the results and dream about what you will create, you only think of the best bits and not the bits that you have to go through to get to those best bits! I'm in that process now and finding it hard! It then compounds into every element of your life and you feel that the whole world also thinks you are incapable! not nice but necessary to move forward and through. Anyway I've started just doing, just painting from anything and putting it down into my sketchbooks really quickly, and although they seem insignificant right now they may evolve into something via the scanning process so here is a few pages put together. Also some paintings of Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg and Antoni Tapies, some of my favourite artists, that I fancied doing. My brother did some paintings of his favourite writers which were great, so I've completely ripped the idea off and again not brilliant but I do like the top one, his are actually much better...anyway, by doing many you always have one that works for you, so I'm going to do more...